Hi Backpack,

So, this is it. The end is nigh on what has been the most life changing and eye opening trip of a lifetime, probably for both of us, and you've been there through it all, so I just wanted to say a bit of a thank you really.

This whole experience, travelling the world with nothing but you on my back and a wandering sense of exploration in my belly has all been a bit up and down, hasn't it? And it all started because I wanted to show you something past my Mum`s attic. It looked like you were getting a bit cooped up in there next to the yoga mats and duvets, so I saved a ton of money, quit my job, stuffed you with all my junk and here we are.

First off, thank you for your patience. The endless hours waiting in terminals, being shoved and crammed into cockpits for up to 21 hours, getting covered in dirt and goodness knows what else.

You've been a pillow, a seat and even a spooning buddy during these gruelling escapades and I'm sure my added weight hasn't been all that fun at times, but it's been for your own good as well as my comfort.

You've been battered around on planes, buses and taxis, gained weight with souvenirs, only to be lost again becoming lighter with each worn out item discarded in hostels for other scrounging travellers to claim (and let's not forget the whole 'flip flops being stolen on Copacabana beach' incident.)

Thank you for being there for me during this quarter life crisis. I know we're quite a bit older than a lot of the people we meet but there's something about embodying being an actual backpacker, than just a traveller with a suitcase that makes me think we're doing this properly.

I have wanted to do this for years, I have tried a career, dabbled with a little trip with you back in '13 to Bali and have been itching to get back out ever since, it's this that lets me know what we're doing is right. Don't listen to the jibes telling us to go home, get a job and a mortgage, that's what society makes us think we should be doing.

You've reminded me that everyone is on their own path and what we're doing is life enriching, story creating, character building, that you don't get behind a desk. Thank you for making me proud to think this everyday, to wear you like a badge of honour, not with shame from the onlookers who think they have their life together, this was our choice.

Thank you for being just the right size. The goldilocks of backpacks if you will. You're filled with everything and anything I might need, come rain or shine.

You're practically my life line and the only thing that separates me from becoming an actual vagrant with nowhere to go and nothing to my name.

Without you I would be lost. And while I am sometimes lost in the world, not knowing my next move to another corner of another country, or even which path my life will take, I know when I decide what it will be you'll be there with open zips to cater to a new adventure.

You've been my longest standing friend on this journey, you've made me stronger with your weight, you've made me meticulous in perfecting the art of filling you strictly with the bare essentials, and you've made me appreciate the belongings I'm lucky to have at home. You've made a high maintenance girl blossom into a well travelled woman, so thanks for that too.

You've been the envy of the less fortunate and my enemy on tired days. I've cursed at you for embarrassing me because let's face it, you're not the most graceful utensil in the world. I can't blame you though, I've got faults too. I've let strange men manhandle you, dragged and kicked you along the floor and I've taken you for granted, because no matter how tatty you become I must remember how lucky I am to have you and to be on this journey with you.

Not many could write a letter like this; to an inanimate object thanking it for accompanying them on the trip some could only dream of, but I can and for that I am grateful. Maybe one day you will take my children on a similar jaunt that I will encourage them to do as I have done.

You've been with me when I've doubted myself, felt at peace with myself and ultimately (as cliched as it is) tried to find myself.

You've made me feel like Cheryl Strayed in Wild, exhausted but empowered, a woman conquering the world the way she wants to, strong and in adversely, you've made me feel like a lost child, on the first day of school, carrying a bag too big for their little body, containing things that have helped me learn, but still not feeling how I thought I would feel after such an experience.

I'm still afraid, still wanting my parents after a day of attempting to make new friends in a strange place. Thank you for letting me be both of these people, two ends of the spectrum, and everything in between.

You are the epitome of this journey, embodying everything that represents this trip and while you may be put back in that attic when this trip is over, know its because you're the best souvenir I could keep, a travel companion I'm determined to travel with again one day because this time round has been unforgettable.

Thank you for all of this.

Until we meet again, Your Backpacker x


By Emily Rogers


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